SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In this chapter we see detailed descriptions of how various items within the Tabernacle were constructed: the ark, the table, the lamp stand, and the altar.
- The ark was a container that resembled a trunk, and the "atonement cover" was basically a lid for the ark. If you continue to read through the Old Testament, you'll see that the ark plays an important role in allowing God to dwell among his people.
- Every item we read about today had something that was made of -- or covered with -- pure gold.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- The Israelites' use of resources may seem extravagant. In verse 2 we read that even the inside of the ark was covered in pure gold. There is no practical reason to cover the inside with gold, as it would hardly ever be seen. This was a great opportunity for the Israelites to cut corners or preserve their resources (or at least use fake gold). However, instead of taking an easy way out, they sought to honor God by committing to do everything he commanded them to do with excellence.
- Likewise, we need to seek ways to follow God with excellence and commitment to the highest standards. In all aspects of our lives -- our relationships, how we manage money, how we spend our time, etc. -- we need to seek to honor God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Is there something you could start doing (or stop doing) today that would help you better serve God? Are there any situations in which you are trying to take the easy way out -- maybe by avoiding a tough conversation, or keeping a damaging secret, or holding something back from God? If so, ask God to guide you through the difficulty and grow you closer to him. Have the tough conversation. Sit down and be honest with people you've been keeping the secret from. Talk to God about what is holding you back from truly living for him.